Leaders of the New School – A Future Without A Past
January 1992 saw the release of what might be the greatest posse cut of all time – Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario,” complete with little known hip-hop group Leaders of the New School. Busta stole the song’s spotlight, setting the tone for his off-the-wall personality to eventually outshine his own group, but “Scenario” (the only song missing from Low End Theory on Spotify) situated L.O.N.S. as an eccentric creative team of Long Island natives with their own sprawling modus operandi distinct from both the jazzy grooves of Tribe and the overly satirical pull of Dres and Mista Lawnge.
A Future Without A Past strikes the balance between comedy and pensiveness, ranging from Busta’s ode to large ladies on “Feminine Fatt” to the group’s endorsement of safe sex on “Just When You Thought It Was Safe” and frustrated musings about low-wage jobs on “Too Much On My Mind.” The album feels lighthearted as each member enjoys the suspended hour and change that the album occupies, but the ills of peer pressure, traditional schooling, and neighborhood crime weigh on the group, and they end by asking “Where Do We Go From Here?” Spotify can start by introducing the humble beginnings of Busta Rhymes to their customers.